Time management for artists can really help you achieve your creative goals
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
~ Michael Altshuler
Time management for artists can be difficult. After all,聽how much time should you spend on your art to get the results you want?
The truth is this:
The answer really depends on聽the goals you have,聽or where you want to go with your art and how much time you actually聽have to work on your art.
Try to figure out where you fit within the following two lists. 聽This will make the rest of the聽article make sense and give you a guide for how much time you should be spending to achieve聽your goals.
To start, let’s take a look at some of the common goals for what you want to achieve with聽your art:
- You want to change into or get into a creative career
- You want to complete a big project like your first comic or聽children’s book, or portfolio
- You just want to improve your art hobby
The second part of this is how much time do you actually have to be working on your art. And that’s where time management for artists can prove to be super effective!
To keep things simple, see where you fit into one of these three聽categories:
- Full-time: You can work as much as possible on your art (40+ hours per week)
- Part-time: You have evenings, mornings and weekends (10-40 hours per week)
- Limited Time: You barely have any time (Less than 10 hours per week)
Now let’s break these down by outcomes and how you should approach these, depending on how聽much time you have each week…
Learning how to manage your time can help you be more creative
You want to change into or get into a creative career
The reason for this is that, depending on where your skills are at, you are going to need to put in a聽lot of effort if you want to stand out.
There are ways that can make it easier to land a job (for聽example, applying to local companies instead of trying to relocate). 聽You’re also going to be聽spending time networking, building your portfolio, and interacting with other artists online, so all聽of this does add up.
Full-time: This is the best place to be and you should try and spend as much time on your art as possible.
Keep in mind that you won’t always have the luxury of spending so much time working on your聽art, so set yourself imaginary deadlines so you can make the most of this period of time聽while you can.
The danger of being in this position is that you may actually have too much time聽on your hands, so you really need to be focused.
If you’re at this level and you’re really serious聽about getting into a creative career, I would highly recommend hiring a coach to keep you on聽track and keep moving you forward.
Part-time: It’s still completely do-able to get or change careers when your time is limited, but聽you need to stay focused. Learn to say聽‘No’ to things so you can spend more time聽on your art.
If you are having difficulties getting the time in, try working either early in the聽morning or late at night, when things are quiet and you can really focus.
Limited Time: It’s still possible, but the odds are against you. If you have limited time but still聽want to hit this goal, see what things you can prioritize in your life. Ideally, you need to move into at least聽the part-time level where you have 10-40 hours per week.
One of the dangers of having limited聽time is that you will often go for days without drawing anything.聽And, even if you only have just five聽minutes per day to work on your art, you need to聽be working on something every single day.
Time Management for Artists With Busy Lives
Don’t聽let your busy schedule get in the way of your dreams.
And if you find that you just can’t find much聽time to work on your art, and you’re starting to feel bad about your聽lack of progress…don’t give up!
Because a little time management for artists can seriously聽help you out here.
All you need to do is change聽your goal to something a little more manageable.
For example, try focusing on just one skill such as聽Figure Drawing while you continue to work at finding more time to聽dedicate to your art.
You want to complete a big project like your first comic book, children’s book, portfolio etc
Suggestion: Full-time or Part-time
The reason is this:聽You want to be able to build up momentum with your project. 聽And this聽means doing your best to take action every single day towards completing it.
The key thing is to聽stay focused and not get distracted by other projects that seem interesting, but ultimately just聽delay you in finishing your most important project.
Full-time: 聽Full-time is actually the best place to be for any artistic goal, but few people actually聽have this luxury .聽If this is you, here’s聽your chance to really make the most of it!
Set聽yourself goals to work towards. For example,聽if you were working on a children’s book, this could聽be finishing one page per聽day.
Then, continue to work each day until you finish your project. Time is a聽double-edged sword, because having too much of it聽can actually allow you to waste a lot of time聽on unimportant things.
That’s why setting yourself daily and weekly goals can help keep聽you on track and focus on the important things.
Part-time: You still have enough time to really complete some major work here. 聽Did you know聽many authors dedicate just two-four hours a day to work on their writing? And that they use this聽schedule to continually write and publish books?
You can do the same thing.聽Just keep in mind聽that it’s best to approach these creative projects first thing in the morning. This way,聽you’ll have access to聽your most creative energy before it gets used up during the rest of the day.
Limited Time: It’s going to be tough to complete your project, but it’s still do-able! This is because creative personal projects often don’t have any deadlines attached to them other than聽the ones you’ve set.
Whatever you need to do, try and聽get yourself into a daily schedule so you can keep聽making a bit of progress each and every day.
As you continue to take action on your project, you聽may find yourself getting energized by working on it. And then, you can really justify spending聽more time on it.
You can use聽time management tools even if you just want to improve your art as a hobby
You just want to improve your art hobby
Suggestion: Limited Time or Better
The reason here is that your focus should be on the enjoyment of what you are doing.
If you feel聽like you are forcing yourself to put in more time, then you need to look at what you are studying聽and if you are actually interested in the topic.
Just because age-old wisdom is saying that you聽‘should’ be studying something but you don’t feel any passion for it – be brave and just work on聽the things that excite you.
Full Time: Don’t let your abundance of time get in your way. Spend some time thinking about聽what you really want to achieve with your hobby. 聽Then, create a plan of attack for learning and聽practicing the things that are most important and rewarding to you.
Part Time: If you’re in this position you may want to set yourself a bigger goal to keep working聽towards, such as the projects we mentioned earlier, such as聽your first聽comic book, children’s book, or completing your portfolio.
Doing this will help you keep focused and聽working towards something bigger – even if you’re just doing this for yourself and never have聽any intentions of creating art for anyone other than yourself.
Limited Time: You’re in a great spot even though you don’t have a lot of time to work on your聽art. 聽Keep things fresh and always focus on what YOU want to do.
At Pencil Kings, we聽100% believe that working聽on your art should be fun!聽So don’t be afraid to be silly, curious and creative 馃檪
Do you have any tips on time management for artists that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them, so feel free to leave a comment below.